Hollywood Must Turn Its Head to Personalized Longevity Science instead of Anti-Aging Pseudoremedies

This attention-worthy article in The Hollywood Reporter signals that Hollywood people are ready and willing to do something about their longevity. The article mentions hormone replacement therapy, different check-ups and other things available in California, however completely misses 99% of what actually can be done about aging – science. Why doesn’t the author talk about the work done at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, USC, UCLA and Stanford University?

People are looking for a ready solution, something that they can do today, and mistakenly dismiss science completely, because they think it is too far away for being applied to them. Well, this is a wrong approach. Science can be applied to a particular person’s health. It is called personalized science. It means that we can treat a given person’s health as a scientific task. There already are several examples for personalized science in action.

Martine Rothblatt created a pharma company to invent a cure for her daughter Jenesis’s rare disease primary pulmonary hypertension, she hired the best researcher in that area back in 1996 and they created the pill that significantly improved the well-being of these patients including her daughter. This venture turned out to be quite profitable as well as being life-saving.

The other example is Michael Snyder and his recent attempt to analyze “omits” data about himself. Dr. Snyder is the Head of Genetics Department at Stanford University. He was measuring 40,000 parameters and by analyzing all this health data, his team managed to spot the onset of type 2 diabetes way earlier than he would have noticed it using conventional methods.

So, there is so much that can be done using scientific approach to health. It is not cheap, and at this point of time this kind of personalized science is for the wealthy, however the Hollywood Reporter article is exactly for this kind of crowd, it describes quite expensive health services that don’t necessarily yield results. I believe the message that science is a very powerful tool to increase longevity has to be brought to the general public, especially here in California where a great number of outstanding aging research facilities are situated.

Leave a comment

Filed under Marketing

Biology and Biology of Aging Resources

We have prepared a list of resources that can help understand biology of aging. We tried to find easy to grasp information sources and compiled a list of lectures, audio courses, popular science books and articles on biology in general and biology of aging in particular. The selected resources probably don’t exhaust the whole picture of aging science, but they shed light on the main ideas and research directions in this area.

For those who have never studied biology systematically, we suggest to take a look at the MIT “Introduction to Biology” course.

These lectures are mainly about different aspects of molecular biology, biochemistry anad genetics. Beside that, the course provides understanding how this knowledge can be applied in real life: in gene engineering and molecular medicine.

A good online course «Useful genetics» from Coursera.org addresses genetics and its applications.

One of the lectures from this course is by the way about genetics of aging.

“Frontiers in biomedical engineering” course was presented at Yale University and is available on Youtube.

Additionally you can listen to the audio course on molecular and cell biology from UC Berkeley.

Now let’s talk about biology of aging. For starters you can read a popular science article in National Geographic titled «Longevity». It provides the most general knowledge about the genetic mechanisms that regulate aging. A very detailed description of aging on various levels (from molecular to whole organism) is provided in the books «Biology of Aging» by Roger B. McDonald and «Biology of Aging: Observations and Principles» by Robert Arking. There was a couse at MIT on biology of aging, age-related diseases and potential therapies, “The Biology of Aging: Age-Related Diseases and Interventions”, the website provides the summary. The topics that are mentioned in this course generally depict the main research avenues in biology of aging and the can be used as reference points for self studying.

Moreover, we have put together a list of lectures given by prominent scientists that provide a look at aging from different perspectives. The lecture by Vadim Gladyshev is devoted to the topic of various theories of aging – “Molecular Cause of Aging”.

Noteworthy are the lectured by the leading scientists from Stanford University, Thomas Rando and Anne Brunet  -“Longevity and Aging in Humans”

and by Janko Nikolich-Zugich from Arizona State University – “The Biology of Aging: Why Our Bodies Grow Old”

Nir Barzilai, Director of Aging Research Institute at Albert Einstein College of Medicine gave a lecture on genes, facilitating longevity in humans – “The role of protective genes in the exceptional longevity of humans” by Nir Barzilai .

Konstantin Khrapko talks about the role of mitochondia in aging – “Mitochondrial Genetics of Aging”.

Judy Campisi, professor at the Buck Institute for Research onaging, gave a talk on the relationship of cancer and cell senescence – “Cancer and aging: Rival demons”

Additionally, several lectures are about the aging of the brain – “The Aging Brain: Learning, Memory, and Wisdom,” by John Gabrieli.

and «The Aging of the Brain» by Carol A. Barnes

5 Comments

Filed under Biology of Aging

Achieving Personal Immortality Roadmap

Map-Immortality_2014__ENG_31

We created the Achieving Personal Immortality Roadmap. It represents the general view on the tasks of transhumanism. It is not enough detailed, because each line requires a larger amount of texts to explain it. At some point of time we will present the plans of action on the key points and will explain how and why they need to be implemented. Nonetheless, we believe it is important to demonstrate the comprehensive view on the problem of achieving physical immortality.

The Roadmap to Personal Immortality is list of actions that one should do to live forever. The most obvious way to reach immortality is to defeat aging, to grow and replace the diseased organs with new bioengineered ones, and in the end to be scanned into a computer. This is Plan A. It is the best possible course of events. It depends on two things – your personal actions (like regular medical checkups) and collective actions like civil activism and scientific research funding. The map is showing both paths in Plan A.

However, if Plan A fails, meaning if you die before the victory over aging, there is Plan B, which is cryonics. Some simple steps can be taken now, like calling your nearest cryocompany about a contract.

Unfortunately, cryonic could also fail, and then you can move to Plan C. Of course it is much worse – less reliable and less proven. Plan C is the so called digital immortality, that means one could be returned to life based on the existing recorded information about that person. It is a not the best plan, because we are not sure how to solve the identity problem, which will arise, and also we don’t know if collected amount of information would be enough. But it is still better than nothing.

Lastly, if Plan C fails, we have Plan D. It is not a plan in fact – it is just hope or a bet that immortality already exists somehow, maybe there is quantum immortality, or maybe the future AI will bring us back to life.

All Plans demand particular actions now – we need to prepare to all of them simultaneously. All of the Plans will lead to the same result – our minds will be uploaded into a computer and will merge with AI. So these plans are in fact multilevel defense mechanisms against death structured in the most logical way.

This map is the political program of the Longevity party – this is what we are going to do. We presented the Roadmap together with Alexei Turchin near the White House as an action to increase public attention for life extension.

5 Comments

Filed under Transhumanism

Civil Activism

IMG_1597 IMG_2077 Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Policy

Let’s Bet on Money?

labcures1

Let’s make a bet? I will propose something incredibly effective in the area of life extension and no one will be able to suggest a better strategy. Deal?

First of all, let’s think about what KPI (Key Performance Indicators) can be applied to longevity? What will tell us that we are on the right way to immortality, but not moving in the opposite direction towards the grave.

The answer here lies on the surface.

The first thing is money. The more money is invested in projects on life extesnion, the better chances we have to stay alive.

The second thing is people. There’s a nuance here. How can we count the increase in number of people? I think we need to count the most devoted supporters in the first place. There are millions of people who don’t mind living longer. Many of them run in parks or read biotechnology news, but does their activity lead to radical life extension? In my opinion, no. Moreover, having found a simple recipe like a diet, yoga or Kurzweil’s promises that everything is going to happen on its own by 2030, this kind of longevity supporters don’t do anything, because subconsciously they have already found the solution to the problem.

I propose to take only those people into account, who are involved in projects on radical human life extension. How can we identify such a person? Oh, it’s very easy. He or she talks about it explicitly and their actions are adequate, meaning they are established socially.

The third KPI is the number of events. Conferences, books, round tables, articles, social actions, 40 people going to have a beer because of the approaching singularity, youtube videos, scientific projects, movies – all of that is needed in extra large quantities.

The forth thing is the effectiveness of collaboration. This one is complicated. Perhaps the number of people involved in the same transhumanist project needs to be taken in account.

So, what strategy will be most oriented towards increasing all of the 4 indices? What can yield more money, more people, more events and more collaboration?

It is crowdfunding of scientific projects in the area of longevity. First dozens and then hundreds of crowdfunding campaigns have to be created that would raize funding for longevity gene therapy, regenerative medicine, studying molecular mechanisms of aging and their relationship to pathologies.

Yes, perhaps, we will raize not a lot of moeny in the beginning, but the projects that describe the work of the scientists, they will stay and they will continuosly owrk towards educating, promoting and attracting supporters. Moreover, they will help the universities and research institutes get government grants and venture capital.

Joint donations for longevity research will draw people closer together and will allow to constantly increase the loyal audience. There will be a chain reaction – successful crowdfunding peojects will motivate to create more projects in our field.

A set of projects on life extension will give a clear signal to the society that great things can be done to secure the main human right – the eright to live.

This is the reason why I participated in creating LabCures, because I concider this project the best strategy for the initial kick off of novel research projects including longevity.

7 Comments

Filed under Funding

9 Obvious Steps to Immortality

maria

1. Use personalized medicine services. Get a lot of data about the state of your own body.

First of all, it’s various “omics”: genome, transcriptome, epigenome, proteome and metabolome. You can do a $100 23andme test, or a half million dollar analysis the way Dr. Michael Snyder from Stanford University did. He was measuring 40,000 his own biological parameters for quite a long while.

2. Participate in clinical trials of geroprotector drug candidates. Several pharmacologic drugs are now known to extend lifespan in animals. The time of human clinical trials has come. Another option for those who doesn’t want to participate themselves is to support such studies financially and organizationally.

3. Personalized science – treat your health as a scientific task. You should identify the existing and potential pathologies in your body and figure out a way to treat and prevent them.

Right now the elements of personalized science are used in treating oncological diseases: people do cancer cell genome sequencing and compare it to the genome of a healthy cell to identify what went wrong and led to the diseases. They also do experiments with the tumor by transplanting it into mice to identify the drugs that may work for the particular patient. This basically means that experiments are done to tackle the problem of a given person. To stay healthy it is a good idea to start fighting those diseases that haven’t yet manifested and try to avoid it.

4. Organize scientific research. Steve Jobs wasn’t treating his cancer during the first several months; he was relying on yoga and meditation. What he should have done was building an institute for bioengineering pancreas and liver and engage in scientific studies. There are a lot of great experiments that need to be organized, for example, studying integrated longevity gene therapy, or one can become a citizen-scientist and build a lab at home and test geroprotector candidates in old mice.

5. Be friends with people with no harmful habits, who are on low calorie diets, physically active and interested in science. Be yourself that way.

6. Create crowdfunding campaigns in the area of longevity. Researchers need a lot of money to do good science. Studies into the phenomenon of life extension and basic mechanisms of aging have paltry funding. We need to advertise the work of scientists that will save millions of lives with the help of crowdfunding platforms.

7. Increase your own competence. Knowledge quite literally extends lifespan. The mechanism of this is not clear yet, but maybe it is due to neurogenesis. New neurons are formed in our brains, but if we don’t use them to form new knowledge, they die. Perhaps it is best to study molecular biology, because this kind of knowledge can be applied to your own health.

8. Sign a cryocontract for neuropreservation and leave as much information about you as possible.

9. Promote the value of human longevity. Public opinion defines government policy. It is necessary to make the government realize the main right of every citizen – the right to live. Aging kills the majority of the people. Various social institutions have to understand this and start solving this problem.

12 Comments

Filed under Immortalism

What Should Be Done to Achieve Radical Life Extension?

Crowd

Theoretically the problem is already solved. It is now quite obvious what kind of research should be done for life extension. For example, testing various combinations of different things that extend lifespan in old mice. Particularly important is longevity gene therapy development.

Delivering 5-7 gene vectors simultaneously carrying longevity-associated genes into an old animal could prove to be quite beneficial, because similar approach already works.

It is also clear that there are several experiments in the area of therapeutic cloning that should be done immediately.

There are about 20 other research directions in the area of radical life extension. I’d like to just also mention implementing aging diagnostics into clinical practice.

There are approximately 50 labs in the states that move into the right direction. They could do much more if they had more money.

Well, it’s all about the money, but not really big money.

Transhumanists from all over the world have been trying to solve the mystery of how to secure funding for reaching physical immortality. The very development of science leads towards it, but this process is too slow, a lot of people may not make it in time. Our goal is to accelerate.

Right now it has become obvious how to find the money for radical life extension. It’s crowdfunding. 200-300 campaigns need to be created on various crowdfunding platforms on the topics of fighting aging and regenerative medicine.

Of course, we may not be able to find the necessary amounts of money right away, but we will be able to delineate the scope of goals, most importantly not using just the general words, but particular scientists, labs and research plans.

Even by only preparing the campaigns we will influence the society by once again providing the proof of the possibility of significant life extension. Unfortunately, molecular biology is not part of an every day’s person background. We will make people more educated, show them how diseases originate, progress, and how they relate to aging. We will also tell the people what can be done.

While working on the crowdfunding campaigns we will mobilize our supporters by giving them a concrete tool and a plan of action. Fighting aging crowdfunding will become a very powerful transhumanist organizational solution.

In the end we will gather the money, implement our projects and win!

If you are interested in bringing this plan to live, let’s collaborate. Every single project requires a manager, analyst, scientist, director, operator, a guy who owns a car and a guy who writes a lot about this on the Internet. There is work for everybody, so let’s do this.

5 Comments

Filed under Policy